Association of General Practitioners Slams Mass Testing for Coronavirus

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Na snímke hlavná odborníèka MZ SR pre všeobecné lekárstvo Monika Palušková poèas tlaèovej konferencie na tému "Viac zdravotnej starostlivosti v ambulanciách všeobecných lekárov" 1. apríla 2015 v Bratislave. FOTO TASR - Martin Baumann

Bratislava, October 29 (TASR) – The Slovak Association of General Practitioners (SVLS) on Thursday slammed the Government’s plan for countrywide testing for coronavirus scheduled for this coming weekend as being devised without consulting experts, ill-prepared and contributing towards an escalation in tension in society.

“The Government’s course of action, including constant changes in conditions [for the testing], lack of preparation and the evidently growing pressure on the public has produced a number of questions and has increased a lack of trust in the state leadership. These questions concern the medical sense [of the testing], the reliability of the results and the legal framework concerning people’s rights,” reads a letter sent by SVLS president Monika Paluskova to Prime Minister Igor Matovic and Marek Krajci (both OLaNO).

The association believes that the mass concentration of millions of people at testing sites throughout the country is at odds with the recommendations of infectious disease experts to reduce public contacts and mobility as much as possible. In addition, the antigen tests ordered by the Government for the operation organised by the military aren’t designed for testing people without symptoms, and so they’re inappropriate for mass testing, stressed Paluskova.

SVLS also criticised the Government for calling the mass testing “voluntary” when those who don’t attend it will be subject to sanctions. Meanwhile, the association doubts whether the results of the tests will be determined with enough expertise.

As for legal issues, SVLS maintains that the police and shop assistants, for example, don’t have the right to demand that individual members of the public should display data concerning their health.

Instead, the Health Ministry should draw up a plan of specific measures to prevent what seems to be a looming collapse of personnel in hospitals and the surgeries of general practitioners after dozens of them have been infected with coronavirus, added SVLS.